By ELLIE MARTIN
Owning a business can be the most stressful and fulfilling endeavor any person can ever undertake. It is filled with minor scares and major victories. However, without proper preparation, there can be extensive losses that are the result of a constantly evolving technology. Of these losses, as we have all become too aware, is the potentiality of data breaching.
In order to avoid such costly mistakes or hacks, there are a few cybersecurity tips that, when incorporated, can prevent your company from being torn apart by breaches or avoid them altogether. In this article, we are going to explore some tips that can secure your business against those who wish to steal whatever they can with impunity.
1. Make all passwords strong
This is a tip that has been reported over and over again by IT departments all around the world. The insistence of the tip is due to its incredible efficacy of preventing brute force attacks or complex guess algorithms. A strong enough password can be your first line of defense and can also mitigate the damage of a network breach either in public or private.
A strong, reliable password consists of a few critical factors. The first is that a password must have at least 8 unique characters of alphanumeric quality. Then it must make use of both lower and upper cases, foreign letters may also be used in conjunction.
Finally, a strong password will always use special characters throughout in order to add complexity and create a more difficult environment for guessing passwords. These elements combine to make an incredible password that can make you vulnerable to brute force attacks which are becoming all too common as the internet grows every day.
Upon the creation and implementation of a strong password, it is then required that you protect the location of the password itself.
This can be achieved through the use of digital password protection, like the program LastPass, that encrypts and hides the identity of your passwords under the use of a master password.
You can also hide your passwords using a physical safe location that is under lock and key in order to avoid digital breaching of a password manager which, while rare, can still occur. Your password should not be treated with disdain, but rather, respect as it can be your first and best cybersecurity tool.
2. Encrypt all files
Building upon the idea of strong passwords, encryption is the next logical step in making your business’s computer systems remain untouched. After a breach, it can be almost impossible to know what a hacker will look for or what they will steal. One thing is certain, using encryption will make it much harder for them to get the data they want.
You can simply use an encryption tool or set individual folders and groups under different passwords using the encryption function that most file systems come with. While it may seem like a difficult process, implementation of general encryption is surprisingly fast and essentially bolsters the power of passwords.
It applies passwords to any and all files while also restricting access to certain individual nodes. There is nothing more important in business than securing sensitive files and file system encryption is the perfect solution. It can keep your data safe while retaining privacy for your business.
3. Update and backup
It is absolutely critical that your systems stay up to date and that your information is backed up onto either protected network drives or physical hard drives that are stored in safe locations.
Do not ignore updates and, in the case of IT departments, make sure that your technology budget is higher than it is now. No matter the business, it is imperative that you respect technology, and subsequently cybersecurity so that your data has the best possible chance of staying secure.
Doing this, in conjunction with backing up data, will ensure that hackers who do enter networks without permission will have the hardest time possible finding and wiping data for good. Many malicious programs out there seek to simply destroy your data, but, those businesses that backup regularly will never have to suffer the damages of such an attack.
Backing up data, adopting innovative technologies, and keeping system updated will provide your business with an extra level of security that can separate you from the rest.
In the last few years, major hacking has caused billions of dollars’ worth of damages with irreplaceable information being stolen from under our feet.
The breaches of Yahoo, Target, and Equifax have shown us that there are too many threats for business to deal with on their own. This is not unlike business ownership of scale either. In fact, over 80% of all small businesses are attacked each year with successful attempts costing businesses over a million dollars.
No matter what sector your business is in, a good cybersecurity plan is essential. Through the use of strong passwords, encryption, and updates you can make your business as secure as humanly possible without going off the grid.
You do not need to pay out of the nose to have a great cybersecurity implementation for your business. A little hard work and diligence will make sure that your business does not succumb to the dangers of the modern world.
Ellie Martin is co-founder of Startup Change group. Her works have been featured on Yahoo! , Wisebread, AOL, among others. She currently splits her time between her home office in New York and Israel. You may connect with her on Twitter.